PETAL, Miss. (WHLT) – On Tuesday, Petal Upper Elementary School fifth-grade math teacher Tyler Shows was surprised with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award presented by the Milken Family Foundation.

Officials said Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities.

Shows was recognized for his commitment to his students, creativity in the classroom and leadership throughout the community. He connects math to the real world as he focuses on the concepts underlying each lesson, intentionally building students’ confidence and inspiring them to rise to his high expectations.

Shows holds a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from the University of Mississippi (2012) and a master’s degree in gifted education from William Carey University (2019). In 2021, he became a National Board Certified Exceptional Needs Specialist.

“I applaud Mr. Shows for having an intentional focus of daily bringing real-world experiences into the classroom to instill a love of learning and build confidence,” said Dr. Kim Benton, state superintendent of education, interim. “Not only does he inspire students, but he also pays it forward by working with his high school’s Teacher Academy and by mentoring colleagues through the National Board Certification process.”

The honorees will also attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum in Los Angeles.